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Giving

We are grateful to our alumni and friends for their generous support of the Smith School and its programs. Your continued generosity allows us to to sustain and enhance the quality of the school's programs and its reputation for educating engineers at the top of the field. Please review the list of giving opportunities below and consider a gift that will help the school accomplish one of the following objectives. You can also GIVE NOW using our secure website.

Capital Projects
The Smith School (CBE) vision for the future requires a renewal of our venerable home. Olin Hall has been prioritized in the College of Engineering’s Facilities Master Plan for a full renovation. This prioritization recognizes the exceptional growth that has occurred in the School, in teaching and research, over the past decade. With much of the building untouched since the first cinderblocks were laid in 1942, we have spaces of all sizes and for our whole range of programs that need to be updated and renovated. This re-envisioning and reinvigorating of Olin for its next 80 years brings exciting opportunities and funding priorities:

Olin Hall Full Renovation                                                                                                                                     $70M
Please contact Joe Rogan for more information.                                                                            

Heart of Innovation in the Smith School                                                                                                               $10M
For the first time in the history of the School and of Olin Hall, we have an opportunity to create a community space designed to catalyze innovation. This dynamic space will put our students in the junction of the building where research meets education to spark the entrepreneurial ideas that will define our future. Olin Hall occupies an iconic space on Ho Plaza in the center of Cornell’s campus. This new space strategically placed at the corner of the Engineering quad, will be a gateway that invites dynamic interactions between students and faculty from across the university, and fosters the collaborative spirit of Cornell that ignites creative solutions.

“Living Laboratories” of Olin Hall
Naming: Technology and Innovation Hubs                                                                                                          $15M/Each
Our reimagined Olin Hall creates state-of-the-art technology and innovation hubs that are test beds for conceiving ideas, testing them, refining them, and then broadly sharing what is learned. We call these hubs “Living Laboratories,” ideal for interactive learning and teaching, student project space and entrepreneurial activities, promotion of near-peer graduate-undergraduate joint projects, and shared research assets for all. These hubs will give students access to the latest equipment, technologies, resources, and community to make their ideas come to life and are opportunities to invest in targeted technological areas.

  • Biomolecular Foundry and Biomanufacturing Suite: Bringing student ideas for new biomolecules for biotechnology and biopharma needs from design to manufacture, from the lab to the clinic.
  • Scalable Sustainable Technologies: Innovating technologies and systems for a sustainable future where energy-water-agriculture converge.   
  • Functional Soft Materials: Connecting researchers across disciplines in a hub dedicated to defining and developing soft, smart materials that respond to their environment and communicate.           
  • Computational Process and Product Design: Teaching big data skills and machine learning for complex system optimization and decision analysis and design that will define next-gen industry and manufacturing.
  • Discipline-based Engineering Education Research: Combining a deep knowledge of the chemical and biomolecular engineering discipline with pedagogical practices that enhance student learning and broaden participation.                                                                      

Faculty Renewal
Named Professorship in Discipline-Based Education Research                                                                   $3M Endowment
The Smith School is leading the college with a goal to hire a tenure-track professor specializing in discipline-based education research (DBER). DBER combines knowledge of teaching and learning with deep knowledge of discipline-specific science content and the challenges students face in learning it. This strategic investment will promote innovations in pedagogy in engineering and create scholarship in teaching the engineers of tomorrow that will give the Smith School national visibility as a leader and pioneer in STEM education.

Professors of Practice                                                                                                                                   $2M Endowment
Industrial Practitioners (IPs) are chemical engineers with strong industry experience who return to Cornell as lecturers and play a vital role in preparing undergraduates for the transition from the university to the workplace. Since the mid 1990’s, CBE undergraduates have benefited greatly from IPs in our capstone Chemical Process Design Course and Unit Operations laboratory. IPs will play an important role in the redesign of our undergraduate curriculum by bring an important industry perspective and a practical expertise that ensures what we develop aligns with the career needs of our students.  

Two Assistant Professors startups                                                                                                 $500K current use/ Position
With just two assistant professors currently, faculty renewal is a major priority for the Smith School. Two positions are sought to enhance our ability to attract star faculty to Cornell and get them on the path to success early in their careers. We have a commitment to build a faculty that reflects our student body in a decade, so continued investment in our young faculty is critical to achieving that goal.  

Undergraduate Program
Undergraduate Curriculum Redesign                                                                                                                      $750K
The Smith School is committed to modernizing our undergraduate education, as a core element of our strategic plan. Students are looking for a more modern, experiential learning environment where they have more flexibility in developing their career trajectories and more freedom to innovate as they learn. We will integrate laboratory modules into core classes from sophomore to senior year; develop industry, entrepreneurial, and research tracks that offer tailored professional development for each track; and modernize the capstone year with real-life problem statements where students can contribute meaningful solutions. A redesign of this magnitude requires teaching relief for our faculty for course redesign, investment in teaching postdoctoral researchers to support student learning through best pedagogical practices, and teaching immersion fellowships for our doctoral students committed to careers in academia.

Graduate Program
Ezra’s Bridge: A Transitional M.S. degree that creates a path to the PhD                                                 $1.5M Endowment
The Smith School is committed to increasing the number of students from minoritized groups who receive PhDs.  This bridge program radically changes how we recruit, train, and retain students during their MS degree and prepares them for successful PhDs. This investment provides fellowships for students with great potential but no means to afford this degree, training for faculty in the best practices of mentoring, and teaching advanced PhD students how to be near-peer mentors for MS student success.

Professional Masters Fellowships                                                                                                              $1.5M Endowment
The School’s Masters of Engineering programs have never been larger or more vibrant than they are today. This endowment will allow the School to provide fellowships to talented young engineers who might otherwise not be able to afford the program.

PhD Fellowships and Awards                                                                             

    • Endowed                                                                                                       $1.5M Endowment
    • Term (4-year current use)                                                                                                    $300K
    • Graduate Award                                                                                            $100K Endowment

Attracting talented graduate students to the school is a key goal in our pursuit of excellence in research. Your gift will allow the school to meet its goal of providing competitive graduate fellowships to every first year graduate student enrolled in the chemical engineering program.

Program Support
Smith School Venture Fund                                                                                                $1M Endowment/$50K current use
Catalyze student ideas into reality with a gift that will provide the raw materials and resources for student team startups, intellectual property development, and innovation across our degree programs.

Student Maker Space Equipment                                                                                                                $500K current use
Equip student lab space dedicated for undergraduates to develop their own research ideas and execute them. Rapidly expand opportunities for student experiential learning across project teams, undergraduate research, and entrepreneurial ventures with equipment needs that allow creative exploration of ideas and student investigation.

Industrial Field Experience & International Study Abroad                                                                            $100K Endowment
Field experiences and international programs provide some of the richest possible training for students of the School. A summer experience at Imperial College London’s carbon capture pilot plant and a week-long training in off-shore operations at a Shell facility have been made financially viable for cohorts of students over these past several years by generous gifts from alumni. We hope to continue these programs and expand opportunities in the coming years.

Smith School Postdoctoral Studies Program                                                                                               $150K or any size
Post-doctoral researchers fill a critical need in both the research and education missions of the Smith School. By supporting faculty research programs with the best, brightest, and diverse postdocs, you are making an investment now in research impact and later in fostering inclusion in the future faculty of the academy.                                                                    
CBE Discretionary Fund                                                                                                                              Gifts of Any Size
Unrestricted gifts of any amount may be directed to CBE and will provide the Director the flexibility to support the priorities listed above, aggressively recruit and retain junior faculty, seize other opportunities and address challenges at their discretion.

Contact: Joe Rogan or call 607.255.7295
Major Gifts Officer, Alumni Affairs & Development, Cornell Engineering

Grace Chuang ChEME '18

Favorite Olin Hall/ChemE memory:
Hanging out with my senior product design group every week. I am thankful for groupmates who are friends outside of Olin Hall, too.

— Grace Chuang '18

Contact Information

For more information on these or any other giving opportunities, please contact Stephen Smith, CBE’s Alumni Affairs and Development Officer, at 607-255-8285 or sjs422@cornell.edu.